If you don't mind a lung full of dust or scratchy red eyes with your browsing then the Old Book Market ( organised by the Kyoto Old Book Association) might be right up your alley. There were clearly some connoisseurs digging for treasure so it must be a collection of some repute- and if you have the tenacity you could well be rewarded.
I didn't take home any books but I must admit I did find some lovely ex student artwork for 100yen each and they dress my tokonoma up very nicely indeed - I have enough to alternate them at regular intervals depending on my mood - as far as I am concerned my elegant acquisitions were the perfect souvenir.
Each year the fair is held at Chion-ji (temple) in north eastern Kyoto. There were many, many stalls filled with a mind-boggling variety of Japanese books (although it was noticeably lacking in food text which was naturally the focus of my mission). There were a couple of books in English or other languages - particularly art and design related books. Definitely worth a look-see if you either read Japanese or are up on your "old book" relevance.
There was an auction set up for the more valuable books and I can tell you they were going for a pretty penny - so there must have been some absolute prizes as far as antique books were concerned. I mean many of the books I was looking at would certainly be considered antiques in Oz where the country is barely nano-seconds old in comparison to Japan - so I would love to know what pedigree of tome they were auctioning. Here's what to expect if you hop along later this year... ( end oct to early nov)
OK - I can't guarantee you will meet this lil' fella....
but he was too damn cute and colour co-ordinated not to add him to the post
To wash the dust out of our mucous membranes (I am sneezing just thinking about it!) we went for a brisk stroll on this pleasant Autumn afternoon - it was great to see people out enjoying the river with their kids before the days became too cold....